Tactile Communication


rough embrace: This is when one individual will wrap its arms around the head or shoulders of another, grasping the hair of the head or shoulders (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an aggressive signal and the recipient often assumes the cringe posture, and this pattern is followed by rough grooming (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

relaxed grooming: This is a friendly grooming type that occurs between individuals that rest and sleep together and can occur for long periods (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The individual grooming will use the hands and/or the mouth to remove dead skin or parasites from the groomee (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The mouths of the participating individuals may be kept open or closed and may giving the lipsmack display (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). In this species members of the same sex groom each other more than members of the opposite sex (Wolfheim, 1977a). Also individuals in a group that tend to groom others at high frequencies tended to be groomed themselves at low frequencies (Wolfheim, 1977a). It was found that in captivity that among females the highest ranking members tend to groom the most, and it has been suggest this behavior serves as a reassurance signal (Wolfheim, 1977a). Amongst males in captivity, the lowest ranking males tend to groom the ones above them in rank most often, and has been suggested in this situation that this behavior serves as an appeasement signal (Wolfheim, 1977).

rough grooming: This is like relaxed grooming but the movements are quicker and more forceful (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The groomee may be in a cringe posture and tens to look tense, and juveniles who try to escape by be responded with wrestling or fighting (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). In adults this is seen before a normal grooming bout (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

tactile inspection: This is when during genital inspection, i.e. visual inspection or olfactory inspection, the individual licks or feels with the fingers the genitals of the female (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is done by juveniles to other juveniles and young adult males and females to females (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

Last Updated: October 15, 2003.
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